So You Grew a Garden… Now What? 8

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

So maybe you were thinking that I was giving up on my garden and stopping the series since it’s been so long since I posted a recipe. But don’t worry, I am not. The sad news is that the deer have pretty much spoiled our entire “crop” of tomatoes. They ate most of the 15(!!) plants down to sticks. There are only 3 plants that are producing tomatoes and I’m not sure if they are strong enough to actually make red tomatoes but we’ll see. One of the plants is a yellow pear tomato plant and it seems to be doing the best so you can expect a recipe later this week. Next year we plan to put up a fence but for this year I guess we will just have to make do and dream of more tomatoes next year. And I guess I’ll have to buy tomatoes for the recipes I had planned for this series. The good news is that our zucchini plant is THRIVING! We came home from vacation to 4 zucchinis the size of my arm, 3 normal sized ones and a few more that will be ready to pick today or tomorrow.

With that being said, today’s recipe is for zucchini bread. And guess what. I like zucchini bread. No one is more shocked than me. I’ve been saying for 25 (almost 26) years that I do not like it but I admit that I had never tried it. This year my great friend Michelle finally forced me at gunpoint (OK the gun is an exaggeration) to try some and to my surprise I loved it. Since I was planning on posting about zucchini bread anyway it worked out pretty well. This recipe is wonderfully moist and spicy and I definitely ate half a loaf within a few hours of taking it out of the oven. So please, if you have been resisting zucchini bread your entire life, please, give this a try. You just might love it.


Zucchini Bread
(Adapted from Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 unsweetened applesauce
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini

Directions

Grease and flour four mini-loaf pans or two 8X4 inch bread pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.


Beat eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.


Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took about 55 minutes but things usually take a little longer in stoneware. I don’t think that 40 minutes would be enough in a regular pan but I would start checking just to be sure it doesn’t burn. Especially if your oven runs hot. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Southwest BBQ Chicken Pizza….

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

A few weeks ago I decided to challenge myself to two things: 1. To make pizza on the grill and 2. To try and clone my favorite from Dewey’s Pizza (this might be an Ohio thing, anyone know of any in another state?). Well this pizza knocked both things out of the park. I have made this twice now and I actually have decided that I prefer this pizza to the restaurant version because the crust is crispier and I can make it more cheesy. I am pretty proud of myself for coming up with this one, it really is awesome and you should probably make it ASAP!

Grilling the pizza was surprisingly much easier than I had anticipated. I had visions of a perfectly good crust falling through the rack or it going up in flames. Thankfully, it did neither of this things. The most difficult part was flipping the pizza and the first time that was a little rough. This time I used 2 spatulas and let it cook a tiny bit longer on the one side so it would be more sturdy. I also put the dough right on the grill for the first side and then on an airbake pizza pan for the second side. That worked out great because I didn’t have to worry about moving the pizza from the grill to the house. Most recipes for grilled pizza call for smaller pizzas (like personal size pizzas) but I wanted a full size so that’s what I did and it worked out fine. But you could definitely make two personal size pizzas from this recipe and grill it that way.

Southwest BBQ Chicken Pizza
Sunny Side Up Original

Ingredients
1 ball of pizza dough (Today I used this recipe)
1 chicken breast, sliced
3/4 cup black bean and corn salsa (recipe below)
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, cut into chunks (I only put the peppers on my half of the pizza if you want to put them on the whole thing then use a 1/2 cup)
1/2-1 cup BBQ sauce
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 tbsp garlic butter (melted butter and minced garlic)


Directions
Preheat the grill making sure that it is really hot before putting the dough on it. While the grill is preheating roll the ball of dough into a 12 inch circle and place on an airbake pizza pan. (Take all of the ingredients outside with you because you assemble the pizza right there at the grill.) Grill one side of the dough for 3-5 minutes, watch your heat and adjust for any flare ups. Carefully flip the dough over (and back onto the airbake pan if you did the first half directly on the grill) and get ready to assemble.

To assemble the pizza – spread the garlic butter over the dough, then pour on a little BBQ sauce, next add half of the black bean corn salsa, then the chicken and red peppers, then the a little more BBQ, then 1/2 of cheese and the rest of the black bean corn salsa and finally the rest of the cheese.

After assembling the pizza turn the heat down a little and shut the grill lid. Let cook for about 5 minutes. Check to see if the dough is golden brown (carefully not to burn your fingers, use a spatula!) and if the cheese is melted. If it looks like it needs more time continue to grill checking every minute or so.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained
1/2 cup sweet yellow corn
salt and pepper to taste
cilantro to taste
squeeze of lime juice

You could easily just chop all of these ingredients up and throw them in a bowl cold, but I like to heat mine for this pizza and I like to saute the onions to take out some of the bite. So this is how I do that:

In a pan saute the onion for just a few minutes to take out the bite. Then add the black beans and corn and heat through. Finish with salt and pepper, cilantro and lime juice.